The 1924 Dodge Brothers Coupe had a reputation as a quality, well-built machine. A reliable inline-four-cylinder engine provided decent horsepower for its time. The interior was nicely appointed, offering passengers a quiet, comfortable ride. It was a fine example of automotive innovation, showcasing the company’s evolving engineering and design capabilities, but original examples like the one in this video are rare today.
Classic Car Rescue recently stumbled across the Dodge coupe, tucked away in a barn for the past 83 years. That means the last time it was driven was in 1940 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president, and America was still a year away from Second World War. But given that it’s a 99-year-old car, it’s in surprisingly good, original shape. All four wheels roll freely, allowing the car to be easily pushed from the barn. The body and interior are both in good condition and would be presentable with a good cleaning.
Getting it running, on the other hand, might require more effort. The electrical system is brittle, and if the Dodge needs points or a condenser, they won’t be available at the local auto parts store. The same is true for the sparkplugs, which are larger than their modern counterparts. On the positive side, most of the Dodge engine’s primary components are similar to ones on modern automobiles, so troubleshooting issues shouldn’t be that difficult.
Ultimately, an internal combustion engine requires air, fuel, and an ignition source to run. Even a long-dormant vehicle like this Dodge or the 1916 Federal Motors truck we saw last week will fire up if it has those elements and a little persistence. Eventually, the Dodge rattles to life, engine chugging, working up the courage to move under its own power before setting off on the road.
A hundred model years have passed since this Dodge Brothers coupe rolled off the assembly line at the factory near Hamtramck, Michigan. Dodge, like Detroit, and communities like Hamtramck, changed significantly in that time. But the automaker still makes cars, including the Dodge Charger and Challenger. And those cars still have combustion engines that operate on the same principle as the Dodge Brothers coupe from a century ago.